How to plant Potatoes Peas Carrots Tomatoes Drying Mint


Stitch Thru Time Planting Your Garden How to tutorial on planting peas tomatoes potatoes beans turnips cucumbers mint Make this your best garden Ever
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Planting peas
Onions and peas don't like each other in the garden so keep them apart

Planting Peas

It is time to plant peas in the early spring, they like cool weather. If you are unsure about your area check with your local farm bureau.  There are a few guidelines I follow when planting my peas and other plants. 


Plants like animals and people have other plants they don't like and some they really like.  If you are going to go to all the trouble to buy seeds, plant them, weed them and water them it is best to make sure they are surrounded by others they like and get along with well.     

Peas grow sell with carrots, carrot roots contain an exudate beneficial to the grown of peas, peas do well with turnips, radishes, cucumbers, corn beans and potatoes, and many aromatic herbs.  Peas planted near turnips do well together.
Peas do not like or grow well with onions, shallots, gladiolus, garlic all alliums inhibit the growth of peas and beans.

If you put wood ash around the base of pea vines it helps to control aphids.

If you want to plant caraway seed, sow it with a crop of peas.  Just a few of the guidelines I go by when planting my peas. I will keep you updated as I plant my garden and let you know what plants I don't get along. 

Planting Tomatoes Tomatoes, they do not do well with potatoes close by, but love Carrots

How to Plant Tomatoes

I would suggest you go to our How to plant tomatoes page for more details

Tomatoes and all members of the Brassica Cabbage family repel each other and should be kept apart. Tomatoes and potatoes should be kept apart. Do not plant fennel near tomatoes.

Tomatoes protect asparagus against the asparagus beetle. Tomatoes also protect gooseberries against insects.

Tomatoes are compatible with chives, onions, parsley, marigold, nasturtium and tomatoes love carrots.

If you plant garlic bulbs between your tomato plants they protect them from the red spider mites. Stinging nettle grown close improves the keeping quality of tomatoes.

Tomatoes will protect roses against black spot. If you are not able to plant tomatoes close to roses make up a solution of tomato leaves in your vegetable juicer, adding four or five pints of water and one tablespoon of cornstarch. Strain and spray on roses.

Don't plant tomatoes near young apricot trees. Tomatoes and corn shouldn't be planted together since the tomato fruitworm is identical with the corn earworm. Don't plant near potatoes since tomatoes render the potatoes more susceptible to potato blight.

You may grow your tomatoes in the same place year after year, unless you have a disease problem, then plant them in a new place.

If you have availability to fish emulsion or dead fish it is good to put it in the dirt where the tomatoes are going and also an aspirin or two gives them a head start.

If you smoke be sure to wash your hands before you work in your garden, tomatoes are susceptible to diseases transmitted through tobacco.


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Planting Carrots


Carrots Love Tomatoes


Carrots seem to be the vegetable that looks healthy and tastes good. We all want to plant our own carrots and have crisp carrots to snack on. I have a few tips on planting your carrots that I use, you can try them if you like.

Carrots like soil with lime, humus and potash in it. When carrots have long periods of hot weather and too much nitrogen them see to have poor flavor.

If you plant onions, leeks and herbs like rosemary, sage and wormwood by them they seem to be a repellent to the carrot fly.

Carrots tomatoes and leaf lettuce grow well together but carrots don't like dill, the feeling is probably mutual.

The roots of the carrot is beneficial to growing peas, I plant my peas and then put the carrots in between. When the peas are done the carrots continue on.

When storing carrots and apples they should be stored a distance from each other to prevent carrots from taking on a bitter flavor. Good luck.

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Planting Peppermint


Mint is a plant that is fantastic for tea or cooking so if you don't have any it is time to go to the greenhouse and any other store with a garden area. The herbs are lined up and the first one we usually see is the peppermint with visions of tea made from our own special blend. Maybe I am wrong but that is usually what comes to my mind.

You have your peppermint at home and want to get it in the ground as soon as possible. Well here are a few ground rules.

Peppermint demands humus and moisture. It also likes small amounts of broken down chicken manure. I have a pile from last year I will be using in various areas. It is time to clean out the chicken coops and get more of that good stuff, not a fun job.

Peppermint planted among cabbage will repel the white cabbage butterfly. If you plant it by chamomile, the chamomile will benefit with more chamomile but the peppermint will have less oil. Plant by shrubs as Peppermint drives away red ants from the shrubs. I would recommend you plant it where it will not get dug up every year and you will end up with a nice crop for years to come.

Peppermint is said to help you sleep, I combine it with chamomile in a tea in the evening sometimes to relax. I have it all over my yard and haven't bought mint for years. Just remember they like water and have fun with them as there are so many fun types of mint.
I have a tutorial on how to dry, mint just go to my mint page. your house will smell like mint and the jars will fill up in your store room for the winter. Some of the mint I have is peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint and this is just to name a few.




I use small nails to hang them from and string wrapped around my mint to hang them up to dry. The smell is incredible and I put a fan in the room so it blows on the mint. It is important that you have air flow. Do not dry it in the sun, avoid the sun but remember you need air flow.


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Planting Beans

Planting Beans

You are probably looking at this picture and thinking I will never be able to live up to that picture. Well, it isn't a picture of my bush bean garden, not enough weeds and the soil isn't that pretty at my place. I am working on it, but give me time and a gardener. Lets face it, we are not Martha Stewart who has I am sure more than one gardener on hand. When I say I am going to plant beans today, that doesn't mean I have a group of gardeners who will be planting today and I may be the supervisor or just tell them to do so. I admire Martha and am wishing I had the staff she has, but I have to deal with who I have me, a husband who is busy and young Grand kids who are willing but get easily distracted. So all you gardeners out there with less cash flow than Martha, do the best you can and you will enjoy the fruits of your labors. Just a few hints to help you be more successful, Here are a few things that I feel help me to have a better bush bean harvest.

The other beans that are included in the bush beans I am talking about are wax beans, green beans, snap, and butter beans. If you plant a little celery with them, about one celery plant to every six or seven beans that will help.

Plant cucumbers with bush beans and they will do well together. Bush beans planted in strawberry rows help each other, both advancing more rapidly than if planted alone.

Bush beans help corn if you plant them in alternate rows. Do not plant near fennel, that is not good or onions as all beans don't like onions. They do grow well with summer savory.

I do like the way they have the small fences up in the picture above to help keep the beans upright, great idea.

Planting Potatoes

Now you are really excited about this garden you've started and young potato plants come to mind. You first need to start with potatoes that have eyes in them. You need to cut up the potato plants and make sure each section has an eye in it. If there is any bad spots in the potatoes throw it away, do not plant bad seed. I like to cut my potatoes up and plant them right away, I have had better success by doing it that way.

Dig your furrows with a hoe or shovel and plant your potato plants in the ground, plant about 3 inches deep and 12 inches apart.

Potatoes do well planted with cabbage, corn, beans and horseradish which should be planted at the corners of a potato patch. They also do well with marigold and eggplant which is a lure for the Colorado potato beetle. Potatoes do not do well planted near pumpkin, tomatoes they have the same bug attraction. Raspberry squash and cucumber.

Sunflowers stunts potatoes growth and the presence of these plants lower the potatoes resistance to blight. If you plant beans with potatoes they help protect against Colorado potato beetle and the potatoes protect the beans against the Mexican bean beetle.

Nightshade weed attracts potato bugs and they eat the weed and die. Nightshade is a member of the same family as potatoes and it has poisonous leaves, white flowers and black berries.

Cabbages do well planted between potatoes after the first hilling. If you see lamb quarters in the potato patch it is an indication that the crop should be moved to a new location.

The reason to plant eggplant with potatoes is the Colorado beetle is attracted to eggplant rather than the potatoes as they prefer eggplant unlike my husband who dislikes eggplant and I love eggplant.

Don't grow potatoes near apple trees as it can cause the potatoes to be more susceptible to phytophthora light.

When you harvest your potatoes don't store with apples as ripening apples give off small amounts of ethylene gas which can give the potatoes an off flavor and they may not keep as well. The apples also can lose flavor.

Good luck with your potatoes.


How to make your own seed starting mix.

Seed Starter Mix

1 part perlite
1 part vermiculite
2 parts sphagnum peat moss and or coir

To keep the dust down, lightly moisten the ingredients before blending them thoroughly in a dishpan or wheelbarrow.

This mix strikes a balance between moisture retention and drainage, both of which are necessary for seedlings. Regulating the moisture is key, It’s easy for the soil to stay too wet, and that can lead to damping off. Damping-off is a fungal disease that causes newly germinated seedlings to topple over and die. Some flower seedlings, tend to be more sensitive to too much moisture. For those, she makes a special batch of the mix, using less compost and replacing coir with peat moss. Sphagnum peat moss and perlite tend to lighten the mix and allow it to drain more quickly. Compost, vermiculite, and coir increase moisture retention.

This mix is made mostly from shredded leaves and other garden debris but she avoids any organic materials that might introduce weed seeds to the compost. Having compost in the mix means that seedlings rarely need to be fertilized until they are moved outdoors to the garden; the compost provides a constant mild feeding. Compost also counters the natural acidity of peat moss. In mixes that don’t include compost, add 1/4 teaspoon of lime for every gallon of mix.

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Build a Compost Screen

Compost Screen

Prevent rocks and plastic from getting into your compost by creating a compost screen

If you have a screen for cement you may use it or you can make your own

Some organic debris breaks down quickly into compost, while twigs and hedge trimmings lag behind. This compost screen allows gardeners to remove the chunky, unfinished bits from compost that is to be used in potting mixes or as a soil amendment or topdressing. It also removes stones and plastic trash that may have found their way into the compost pile. Use a gloved hand to work the compost through the mesh, one or two shovelfuls at a time.

The screen is designed to sit atop a wheelbarrow or garden cart; the screened compost ends up in the wheelbarrow so it can be transported to wherever it is needed. Materials needed are 2-by-4 untreated framing lumber, galvanized hardware cloth with 1/2-inch square mesh, 2 1/2-inch galvanized deck screws, and 3/4-inch galvanized staples.

Begin by measuring the wheelbarrow. The dimensions of the wheelbarrow tray will determine the lengths of the 2-by-4s. Cut two boards about 16 inches longer than the width of the top edges of the tray, allowing them to overhang the edges 8 inches on each side. Cut two shorter boards about 8 inches less than the cross dimension. The screen can be built so the overhanging boards extend to the sides of the wheelbarrow, or to the front and back. A rectangular shape is easiest to construct, although it’s also possible to match the tapered shape of some wheelbarrow trays.

With a handsaw or jigsaw, cut long notches at each end of the longer boards. The cuts can be angled or curved with a jigsaw, if desired, to make the screen fit more snugly atop the wheelbarrow. Check to make sure the notched boards fit the wheelbarrow tray. Assemble the four boards with 2 1/2-inch deck screws.

Cut a rectangle of hardware cloth to fit the underside of the screen Attach it with a staple gun, fastening about every 6 inches.

Using Screened Compost
Three good uses for screened compost:
Lawn fertilizer. Spread about 1/4 inch of screened compost on the lawn in early fall. Use a leaf rake to distribute it evenly.
Mulch. Blanket the soil in planting beds with an inch or more of screened compost. As mulch compost offers slow-release nutrients and a tidy appearance.





Planting Onions Recycling Onions


Garden fresh onions year round

This works well. You may have fresh onions year round.

The trick is to take the cut end root side and plant it in a pot, water well, give it some time and voila! You have fresh and free onions at your disposal. This will work for a variety of different onions and the beauty of this tip is that as you use the onions, you replant the cut root ends to grow more. You can use a tub just for onions and haul it indoors during winter months will need lots of sun or if it's just green onions your interested in growing, a large flower pot will do.

I learned this tip a couple of years ago and have tried it and found that it works and is quite marvelous. I love to use fresh green onions but am always out or there is a slimy little bag of them in the bottom of the fridge.

Here is my marvelous tip for growing them yourself and recycling a bit.

Onion Recycling Tutorial


1. Take the onion you are using for cooking, green, red, yellow, or white, it doesn't matter.

Cut off the root end. You are going to do that anyway. For a bulb onion like a red, white or yellow, I core the onion and cut out a little cone there at the root end.


This onion came from my garden so the roots are huge but the ones from the store work the same.

2. Take that root bit you cut off and plant it in dirt and water it well. You can directly plant this in the garden. I plant mine in a tub in my yard for easy onion access year round. You can even plant them in a flower pot in a sunny window.

Planting onions

There you have it. In a few weeks you will have tons of green onions for the picking. Actually I just take my knife out there and cut them off at the ground and they grow me another onion quickly. If you just need the green parts for your recipe, just snip off a few of the green things and chop them up. The onion plant will send up more and that will actually stop the plant from going to seed which makes the onion tough.


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